The Week That Was: 09/08/13

Share with others:

Print Email Read Later

You feel a draft?

If you are one of those fellows who keeps a cardigan on the back of his office chair, you've surely uttered the line: It's like an icebox in here! Well, maybe metaphorically, but not literally -- unless you move into the former Wholey & Co. cold storage warehouse at Penn Avenue and 15th Street. Developers Sampson Morris Group and architecture firm Desmone & Associates want to turn the 330,000-square-foot freezer box -- the one with the giant smiling fish on one side -- into a 144-unit apartment building.

No windows? No problem. The builders say they will remove much of the building's outer skin and punch holes in the walls to create windows, balconies and patios.

No fracking way!

Part I: By 2020, drilling deep in America's various shale formations for gas and oil could create 3.3 million jobs and add $468 billion annually to the nation's gross domestic product, according to a report by IHS Global Insights. Were we to let all that gas and oil sit underground, Americans might pay an extra $1,200 a year in utilities and related costs, the study claims. It's at least the umpteenth study to promise wealth and fortune and, like the others, it's more an advocacy tool than a baseline to measure future growth.

Part II: A campaign that began with coloring books (see "Talisman Terry, the friendly Frackasaurus") is moving deeper into the classroom: Energy companies are designing and funding new curricula for public schools. The PG's Anya Litvak reported that the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association is creating scavenger hunts for schoolchildren, while Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania -- via funding and volunteer teachers from the energy industry -- has built a new energy-focused science program for eighth-graders in the region.

School districts want the programming and the money, while the energy companies "want to give back to the community [and] also want to ensure a steady flow of future workers," the story said.

A moving target

Congressional gridlock is good for those who want to see gun laws remain unchanged -- but that gridlock means the "nationwide fever for firearms" is waning, according to CNN. That's why Smith & Wesson shares fell Friday, a day after the gun maker warned investors of a "disappointing" sales outlook. This, despite the fact that quarterly sales had jumped 25 percent to $171 million, thanks to people hoarding guns earlier in the year, worried about new purchasing restrictions or bans coming out of Washington.

In case you missed it ...

... visit to read Deborah M. Todd's story about the value of your used iPhone. If Apple announces a new iPhone model as expected this week, models from recent years -- particularly the iPhone 5 -- can be worth hundreds of dollars. And the resell value of the iPhone 4 models has jumped more than 10 percent on eBay since April.

Quote of the week

"They can't come to the public for more money. ... We have got to rebuild neighborhoods in this city. As long as only one developed project is getting all the money, we'll never see the other neighborhoods developed."

-- City Councilman and presumptive mayor Bill Peduto, telling the Penguins that they shouldn't expect the city's help in developing the old Civic Arena site, particularly if the Penguins and the Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority were to win an $18 million federal grant to redevelop the 28-acre site in the Lower Hill District. But the team learned Thursday that it did not get the federal grant.


Bill Toland: or 412-263-2625.


Create a free PG account.
Already have an account?